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  • K-12
  • LAUSD
Santee Education Complex will receive some of the settlement funding.
Santee Education Complex will receive some of the settlement funding. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

The Los Angeles Unified School District will pour $151 million into a group of 50 schools to settle a lawsuit over how the school system spends money intended for some of its neediest students.

The funds, to be distributed over three years, will go to schools in low-income neighborhoods, mostly in South and East Los Angeles, and will pay for such efforts as increased tutoring, mental health support, counseling, parent participation and restorative justice.

The extra help is supposed to benefit three groups of students: those from low-income families, English learners and those in the foster-care system.

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  • Higher Education
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(Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

To see what free speech looks like in 2017 at the birthplace of the famed movement, consider the elaborate preparations underway for a talk Thursday by a conservative writer.

Ben Shapiro isn’t nearly as controversial as some right-wing speakers who have roiled the campus over the last year.

Nonetheless, UC Berkeley has told students that counseling is available to those stressed by all the commotion. A large swath of the campus will be closed off, including the plaza where the free speech movement began in the 1960s. Hundreds of thousands of dollars have been spent on security, and police can now use pepper spray on protesters after a 20-year-old ban was lifted by the City Council this week. Shapiro’s appearance is a key test for Berkeley.

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  • Higher Education
  • University of California
(David Butow / For The Times)

UC Berkeley, home of the free speech movement, has become the nation’s most prominent stage for violent confrontations between the left and the right. This month, conservative speakers Ben Shapiro, Milo Yiannopoulos, Ann Coulter and Steve Bannon all are expected to visit Berkeley, and the campus is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in security costs to prevent violence.

Chancellor Carol T. Christ, who has more than three decades of teaching and administrative experience at Berkeley and also served as president of Smith College, said a “combustible mix” of changing youth sensibilities, political polarization and the choice of university campuses as battlegrounds has made protecting free speech more fraught than ever. She spoke with The Times on Wednesday in San Diego, during a break in the UC regents meeting.

  • Higher Education
  • University of California
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

UC Irvine Chancellor Howard Gillman apologized Wednesday for the “unacceptable distress” caused to students after the campus abruptly rescinded nearly 500 admission offers this summer, and pledged the mistakes would not recur.

Gillman, speaking at the University of California regents meeting, said he could not fully explain what went wrong or craft a corrective plan until an internal audit is completed in the next month. The campus has readmitted all but about 50 students, he said.

  • Higher Education
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  • California State University
  • LAUSD
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

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  • Higher Education
  • California State University
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Cal State Chancellor Timothy P. White listens to a speaker at the Cal State Board of Trustees meeting in March.
Cal State Chancellor Timothy P. White listens to a speaker at the Cal State Board of Trustees meeting in March. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

California State University Chancellor Timothy P. White, who flew to Washington, D.C., this week to speak out against President Trump's decision to phase out the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program,  said he was "cautiously optimistic" that Congress will find a way to preserve the program that protects nearly 800,000 young immigrants.

In back-to-back meetings with Republicans and Democrats, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco), Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Turlock) and U.S. Department of Education undersecretary James Manning, the chancellor made his case for the more than 8,000 students without legal status at Cal State, the nation’s largest public university system.

“Folks were empathetic and impressed with how many of our students are involved in the DACA program, how important it is, and how the uncertainty around the possibility of the program going away is debilitating to our students,” White said in an interview Wednesday. “I think there's a will to get something done. There are some who think it might get done in the next handful of weeks and others who think it might take another calendar year. Politics is politics, but I'm cautiously optimistic that there's a permanent, workable legislative solution that's in the mix now."

(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles Unified School Board President Ref Rodriguez was charged Wednesday with three felony counts of conspiracy, perjury and procuring and offering a false or forged instrument, among other charges, the result of a months-long investigation by local authorities into donations to his successful first-time run for office in 2015.

The charges against Rodriguez, 46, who represents District 5, which stretches from Los Feliz to South Gate, were detailed in a news release from the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.

(Roger Wilson / Burbank Leader)

Some local high school students are challenging Burbank Unified’s dress code, saying it is sexist against girls, and they are planning to survey parents, teachers and students on how to amend the policy.

Eight students from Burroughs and Burbank high schools shared their personal experiences dealing with the dress code during the public-comment period of a Burbank school board meeting last week.

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  • K-12
  • LAUSD
(Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times)

Rafe Esquith may have been America’s most famous teacher — even, some said, its best — when the Los Angeles Unified School District fired him in 2015.

Three lawsuits prompted by that dismissal were put aside as the two sides settled and issued a brief joint statement Wednesday morning. 

Esquith, 63, will receive lifetime health benefits, earned by his long tenure as a teacher, and the satisfaction that the settlement includes language intended to better protect the rights of teachers accused of wrongdoing. His attorneys describe the settlement as a major win for all L.A. teachers. 

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L.A. schools Supt. Michelle King, left, with school board member Monica Garcia
L.A. schools Supt. Michelle King, left, with school board member Monica Garcia (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

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